We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

Ocala, Florida
Level Contributor
35 posts
Save Topic
Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

First of all, I want to apologize way in advance for such a question that I can't believe I am going to have to ask in this day and age, but here I go:

My family & I are biracial, Caucasian & African-American heritage. We are planning a trip to YNP. I wanted to know how receptive are people who reside in Montana, Idaho, & Wyoming of other cultures that they are not apart of?

We are planning to go to a Native American festival and I was curious about what some people's reactions would be.

I am deeply sorry for asking such an idiotic question but it is very important to explain to my 3 & 9 yo neice and nephew about some people's reactions who do not embrace all cultures. I am not saying that we would encounter this, but this will be our first time in the areas.

Thank you so much for the advice. My intention is not to offend anyone. I just want to become further educated. This is why I travel so I won't have those prejudgement perceptions of people, regardless of race.

Thank you

Billings, Montana
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
7,079 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

Unfortunately, no place is immune from racism. That being said, your family will be fine.

Deb

western WA
Level Contributor
8,997 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

I also think your family will be completely fine. Above, all as visitors I do not think you will experience racism. YNP has visitors from all over the world.

Northern Idaho has some nasty characters, I am sorry to say. Most of us are very opposed to their actions, but they do exist there.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
24,541 posts
112 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

OUCH! I live in N. Idaho. We do have our share of *nasty characters* but the whole area is not intolerant. I live near 2 major universities which draw students from around the world. There is plenty of intermingling among different groups including Native Americans.

Sorry to say, the most recent intolerant act in the area was actually in Spokane Washington on MLK Day. They have arrested a Washington resident.

All nasty business, but as vacationers, I would think you would be OK.

Are you planning somewhere specific in Idaho?

Pam

Edited: 04 April 2011, 09:02
montana
Level Contributor
1,275 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

What we have found is that because Montana is largely Caucasion, many of the people who live in rural areas have not been exposed to people of other races. This is not true for the big national parks, where millions come from all over the world. We've also found that this lack of exposure to different races results in a mixed response from some Montanans: curiosity (staring by some children), but also acceptance because they have not been negatively exposed to things like gang activities and racial strife. Sadly, there is some racism, esp. towards the Native American population. Mostly, Montanans are kind-hearted, good people with a live and let-live attitude. The few extremists moving into our state try to be vocal, but the vast majority of decent Montanans who live here do not abide by their views.

Any your question is not idiotic.

Do enjoy any cultural event, such as a pow-wow, put on by Native Americans. This could be a highlight of your trip.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
34,294 posts
499 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

A couple of years ago someone asked the same question on the South Dakota forum about coming to the Black Hills. I do not think that you will have a problem in the national parks and surrounding areas. Millions of people come to our parks each year from around the world.

Enjoy your trip.

Ocala, Florida
Level Contributor
35 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

Thanks Pam. We are planning to attend the Shosone-Bannock Indian Festival in Fort, Hall, ID.

Thank you everyone for responding. I feel more at ease.

Ocala, Florida
Level Contributor
35 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

@ Destination Montana. Thank you so much. I really would like to show our children about other cultures, especially the Native American culture. I think they would very much enjoy the powwow.

@ Destination Georgia. I went to South Dakota last year to see Mount Rushmore. I must say that they were the nicest, friendliest people that I have ever met. I spoke with a woman from Germany who told me that there were not many African-Americans, accept for on the military base. I was there for 5 days and had a great time.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
24,541 posts
112 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

You will have an excellent time at the pow-wow. It will be very different and exciting for you all and the kids. Not sure about protocol with the Sho-Bans but you may need to ask about picture-taking. When tribal members are dressed in their regalia it is unbelievable. The little dancers are especially cute.

Pam

Ocala, Florida
Level Contributor
35 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

Thanks for all your help and great tip on permission of picture-taking. :)

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Spokane
Level Contributor
3,479 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Are there any Racial Issues in MT, ID, or WY?

As noted previously, we are a bit isolated and have little exposure to a wide range of cultures. This has caused some "closed minded" people to seek out this area for is "whiteness". Far and away, we are an accepting area, but we do have a few issues, though I am not sure anymore that it is much different than anywhere else in the states.